Conflict of interest in dental hygiene and cosmetic dentistry

Ever wondered what is the primary role of your dentists when you visit their office? To me, I used to think that visiting the dentist would either mean extraction or filling when I was a kid. It’s a luxury to visit the dentist for regular clean up or check up in Malaysia. I guess I was poor. Toothbrush and paste was my guarantee for good dental hygiene.

I had a bad malocclusion and required orthodontic treatment. I had mine done at subsidised rate but had to be placed in a waiting list. I had mine done by three orthodontists. The first one was a male orthodontist who was frequently missing in action (MIA) and appointments were delayed. The second one was a female orthodontist who was very impatient and rough (I was always surprised by her crude way of treating me). I had on several occasions ended up with bleeding lips because she was so rough on the wires that the ends would accidentally cut deep into my lips. She was also the one who left two scratch marks on my molar that later deteriorated into cavities (after several years) by using her dental pliers with brute force during removal and re-fixing of the dental brackets. Suddenly one day, she left to work in private clinic without a word. The third was also a female orthodontist, and after the latest experience, she seemed way too gentle. She was the one who removed my braces.

Although my teeth was aligned, it had lost its function. The molars were not aligned as neatly as before, my jaws were way too inside my mouth as compared to previously. It’s noticeable when I try to bite an apple or something larger. The “backward pulling” of the jaws during the treatment was meant to align the teeth and also to close the four gaps (where four molars were extracted; e.g. two upper molars and two lower molars). The pull retracted my jaws into my mouth, and thus I have smaller jaws than previously.

Now back to my main purpose for this article.

When I approached the orthodontic clinic, my thought was to get a treatment to correct my misaligned teeth/jaw (aka malocclusion). But what the orthodontists were thinking was that “this patient” is here to get a “good looking” teeth. Good look over function? If you think about it, sometimes, dentists also play a role in (or provide) cosmetic dentistry treatment, e.g. dental implants, crowning, bridging, and among others. In my opinion, the latter treatments are mostly costly and surely will be more profit generating than that of patients coming in just to get their teeth cleaned. How then will this arrangement not provoke a sense of suspicion, especially considering that there is a direct conflict of interest? On one hand, dentists play a primary role in treating patients in order to preserve healthy teeth, while on the other hand, dentists gain profits from selling dental cosmetics. Put it simply, to have more patients with rotten teeth will be profitable as compared to have patients who have healthy teeth.

In my opinion, there shouldn’t be “amalgamation” of dental hygienist role with cosmetic dentistry. Dental hygienists should strive to preserve healthy teeth (full stop). They should profit by the sheer amount of patrons (what am I saying?). But I guess if that’s the case, there won’t be many dental hygienists, especially considering that the amount of time they spent on a patient would yield much lower in returns than cosmetic dentists earn from the same amount of time.

All in all, to me, visiting a dental clinic that also cater for cosmetic dentistry treatment sometimes make me uneasy, especially considering the conflict of interest involved. But I guess, any profession will have that one way or another. It all depends on professional ethics, and finding one dentist who are trustworthy is the best way to get a win-win situation. So, start making friends with dentists because you might need to visit them soon.

Just a thought.


Fw: Unruly passengers on board flights should be banned from flight

There should be a system whereby dangerous (by other definition) passengers should be banned from flight (or at least permitted to fly under certain circumstances and supervision). Here is an interest article pertaining to this topic (Unruly passengers on board flights should be banned from flight).

Facebook… I’m really irritated by you, just bring back the simple untag function

What the hell… could you bring back the simple untag function? I don’t really want to tell you why I want to untag things/people that I tagged in the first place (be it my own photos or other people’s album). Why don’t you let me do a simple “tag, ops I need to untag” decision on my own? Why do you need to know all the things that I do on Facebook? Haven’t you snooped enough? Now you want to be the bottle-neck of the choices I make on Facebook? Do you know how irritating that could be?

Imagine if you go to a fast-food and decided to order chicken burger, then you say “ops, I want fish instead”; how do you feel if the cashier produce a sheet of paper asking you to fill a freaking reason why you opted for fish instead of chicken? Worst, the irritated you wanted to leave the outlet and forgo the meal with the fast-food restaurant BUT you can’t leave because the snoopy bouncer wanted to know the reason you decide to “un-visit” the outlet. Can you freaking understand the “feel-good” feeling evaporated once you (Facebook) becomes a nagging bug?

Just give me back the ease to opt and decide on what I want to do or act. You just do what is more crucial and important…. safeguard our privacy and enhance your security features. Let us have fun on Facebook rather than having to REPORT to you on every gritty tiny bit of stuff which really irritates me to the max. Don’t be a naggy!

Google maps starred location over time forgotten

Google Google, why don’t you allow users to rename starred location to their liking? At least allow us to describe what the heck the starred location was for…  I’ve got several addresses starred, but over time I’ve forgotten whose address it was. Bummer, no?

Is it really that difficult to allow users to save renamed starred items in their handset (if it’s super difficult to do it on your server)? Would appreciate it if Google could add this feature.

Clear history when Firefox closes… sigh

I opt for this setting to ensure I don’t forget to clear the history of sites visited after I’m done using. However, it’s a bummer when Firefox force-closes and then ask you to restart. There is no way to retrieve the previous sites visited during the time Firefox crashed.

If only the “Clear history when Firefox closes” exempt situation when it crashes and force-closes. Alas, it doesn’t. So, back to manual setting.

Google search autocorrect is becoming a nuisance

Google search autocorrect is really making life uneasy for me. A search for the same topic lists a lot of posts stating that they wanted to opt out from this silly ill-planned feature in google search. I don’t blame them because it is really frustrating to be unable to search for what you want and being stuffed with garbage. I guess that is the reason old search engines died,i.e. THEY GAVE GARBAGE MOST OF THE TIME. Since when google regressed to that stage? At least allow users to have more control of the search platform. Not all are dependent on autocorrect. Autocorrect is useful for word processors where hundreds and thousands of words are being typed and typos bound to happen (statistically). However, I have not encountered anyone who would type in more than twenty words into the search. What is the chance of getting a typo without noticing it?

If google insist that many kids nowadays are using it and autocorrect will help them in their assignments, I would say, “well, fine…”, but at least allow people to decide. Empower us users rather than shackle us to “routine”. Let us choose what we want to do with the search. Do you know that even after I switched my language to Klingon, I still get autocorrect for the words I typed. Almost 30% of the results are garbage (defined as having no specific word [typed into search] in the content). Imagine my frustration seeing all the bold words in the search results not equal to the words I wanted. To me, this is an insult.

So, In order to bypass such predicament, I had to use the plus sign (+) and the double inverted commas (aka quotes) and minus sign (-) to get what I want. Sometimes I have to minus several words to get the only word I want. Other times I have to remove irritating websites with such means because google search preferred that users have no say in filtering out “offensive” sites.

All the problems I’m facing is actually very simple,i.e. google is not allowing me to have a say in what I want. I have to follow google’s routine. I do have options, but I wonder when do I get to say what options should be included in google apps, services etc. What is the use of options when they weren’t decided by you?

I guess I will just have to wait a little longer for something good to happen in google. I do hope that google team will be able to spot this article and all the posts, forum, comments out there by other users and decide how to improve their act.

Telemarketers be terse

Previously, I said this, “I can never understand them telemarketers. They would call, then they would speak a hundred words and I still don’t really know who they are and what they want.”

> I guess I said this because I was frustrated with the same calls about the things I explicitly said I had no need, ever. E.g. insurance.

“They are wasting my time. Unless time is their performance index, i.e. the longer they speak to a customer, the higher the point, and therefore they try to stretch this limit and my limit.”

> I guess I’m not happy about this because they never ever called in the right timing.

I only wish they could be terse, e.g. “we r client/partner of ABC bank and this bank sold your particular to us. We r insurance company with plenty of plans. It would take gazillion years to tell u the benefit of our insurance plans. Currently we r selling this plan which covers….. Interested?” A better alternative would be, “ABC bank ‘recommended’ your number to XYZ company, that’s us. We r selling this KLM plan. R u interested to know more?”

> If they could at least allow us to know if there is any need to continue with this phone conversation, it would be so much appreciated, no?

On reflection of my previous post, I guess I was most unhappy about several things. First, unsolicited calls are never welcomed. Second, don’t call to ask why we have no need for a product. Third, I don’t like to commit to anything as serious as buying insurance over a phone from God knows who.

I feel bad I had to vent my unhappiness in a crude way from previous post that I’ve amended.